Staying in good shape takes constant effort. You have to get up early and hit the gym. You have to lace up and head out for your training runs. And you have to eat right. Because without the proper fuel, your body won’t be able to lose weight and build lean muscle.
Eating a healthy, nutritious diet doesn’t have to be dull or boring. In fact, there are tons of options for health-conscious foodies.
But the reality is that there may be gaps in your diet. Important gaps.
If you don’t get the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your diet, your fitness results are going to be sub par. And that’s just unacceptable.
Many people use a daily multivitamin to supplement their diets. But there are lots of mixed and conflicting opinions about the effectiveness of multivitamins. Are they safe? If so, which should you choose? And how can the best multivitamin help you reach your fitness goals?
A multivitamin is an essential mix of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to perform vital functions. The best multivitamins contain additional nutrients for specific health benefits. In general, they will contain vitamins that are often missing from typical low-quality diets, including:
You will also find men’s multivitamins and women’s multivitamins. The differences in the specific vitamin and mineral dosage of gender-focused multi’s is to address to unique health challenges of men and women. For example, multivitamins for men include ingredients that boost testosterone and promote prostate health.
Multivitamins are well worth their minimal expense. Using a daily multivitamin will help ensure that you aren’t missing out on any key nutrients. The Harvard School of Public Health calls multivitamins “an inexpensive nutrition insurance policy.” What do they mean?
Face it: you don’t always eat right. Especially if you lead a busy, hectic lifestyle. A well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, meats, and whole grains can be hard to plan into your work week.
Taking a multivitamin ensures that - even if you didn’t eat great today - you did definitely get your daily recommended amounts of all the essential vitamins and minerals.
That being said, even the best multivitamin shouldn’t replace a healthy diet. Rather, they work together to help you achieve your healthiest, fittest self.
No. Dr. Howard Sesso, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, says that “there are potential benefits and there are no known risks at this time” to daily multivitamins.
Have you heard sensationalist reports that taking a multivitamin could lead health problems? Treat those reports like other ridiculous, sensational claims. Ignore them. Instead, follow the reliable science on multivitamins.
Balanced, research-backed opinions of health experts support the use of a daily multivitamin. Consider what Duffy MacKay told Men’s Journal. He’s the Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
After pointing out weakness in studies that try to diminish the benefits of multivitamins, he expressed that “taking a multi is an effective step towards being as healthy as possible.” In fact, there is evidence that it can reduce the risk of several types of cancer.
But MacKay insists that “the reduction of cancer risk found in this study should be considered icing on the cake. Don’t think of your multivitamin as a panacea, but rather as one of your healthy habits.”
Studies have proven that supplementing your diet to make up for missing nutrients is effective. And even skeptics agree that athletes who follow a routine of strength training should use multivitamins. The risk of deficiency - and the effect that can have on your fitness and athletic results - is too great.
Eat a healthy diet. Get plenty of exercise. And take a daily multivitamin. It’s the best way to fill nutritional gaps and stay as fit as possible.
Don’t be scared off by sensational claims and reports. Instead, trust the science and use a multivitamin for men or a multivitamin for women to support daily wellness. It will promote a healthy lifestyle now and in the years to come.